ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – What is Rugby? It’s a sport you may have heard of but know nothing about. But for a few Key City athletes, they’re eager to play. Rugby has been around for a long time, starting in Europe starting in the 19th century.

After time off for the pandemic, Abilene Rugby Club coach, Kevin Phillipson said the team is thrilled to be back out on the field.  

“I’m just glad being back on the field and just sitting in my room doing nothing,” said Phillipson’s granddaughter, Areanna Ference. 

Ference told KTAB/KRBC she feels right at home and is not afraid of chipping a nail in the midst of the scrum. 

“I’ve been around most of these guys for three years, it’s like a whole bunch of brothers on this team,” said Ference.  

Being the only girl on the team, Ference said, does come with its challenges. 

“I mean, I always get picked on and such just because I’m a girl, but it’s fun though,” said Ference. 

As for Phillipson’s son Tate, he says deciding whether or not to play won’t take long.

“In two practices you’ll either hate it or love it, so you really just got to give it a try,” said Tate. 

For the last 10 seasons, Tate has played Rugby and said he started because he wanted to get closer to his father.  

“Everything seems kind of complicated at first,” Tate explained. “But you just put pieces together and you get the whole picture.”

Once you have played, team members say the game will forever be in you.  

“It is amazing to see these kids out, enjoying something that I got so much pleasure out of,” said Phillipson.  

Phillipson is working to bring in more men and women to learn about the challenge and fun of the game. These players have the chance to travel and play against other teams across the country.  

The Abilene Rugby team practices every Monday and Wednesday from 7:00 9:00 p.m. at Brentwood field, located at 7 Trails End Road. 

Phillipson says a youth Rugby team is also in the works and is excited about growing this club. 

Located on the “Abilene Rugby Club” Facebook page, more information is available on how you or your child can join.